Mining Sector: Segilola successes to open new vista of opportunity for Nigeria

By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has said that the Nigeria Mining and Metal Sector is set to witness increase interest of foreign investors as a result of the successes recorded by the Segilola Resources Operating Limited (SROL).

Adegbite made this known during a facility tour of SROL in Iperindo area of Osun State, South Western Nigeria over the weekend.

Segilola Resources Operating Limited (SROL) is a West African subsidiary of Thor Exploration Limited which focuses on gold exploration, development and is listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange.

The Minister who attributed the sudden foreign interests in the Nigeria mining sector to the success story from SROL operations in Nigeria, said Nigeria needs more of Segilola to return to the world mining map.

According to him, the success story of Segilola has opened a new vista of opportunity for Nigeria and for Nigerians. “I been to Australia, Saudi Arabia, London, Canada, even the United States of America and everyone wants to mine in Nigeria as a result of what Segilola has done; there’s a lot of bad news about Nigeria out there but we have your story to tell as a company that came from outside and is able to survive in Nigeria.

“We need more of Segilola in Nigeria, you are the pioneer and we are happy that it is a success story because when I started going to the mining calendar events and invite them to invest in the sector, they were hesitant as they saw Nigeria as a shark infested water and wanted to see who dived in and came out first. They wanted to see how Thor exploration will fair, your success story is out there now and everybody wants to be the next Segilola.”

Disclosing the total sum of about 1.1 billion Naira SROL paid in royalties to the Federal Government since its started production in 2021, Adegbite expressed government’s wiliness to welcome more relevant investors like Segilola Resources Operating Limited.

He added that as more investors come in, the more royalties to the government and more employment for Nigerians.

While urged for continuous cooperation between the mining companies and the host communities, the Minister disclosed the great impact of company in the community and to neighboring communities as the skilled and unskilled are benefiting it compulsory Community Development Agreement (CDA) in addition to the Community Social Responsibility (CSR) being carried out by SROL.

The Minister also disclosed that an Aurelian company has commenced operation in Baba Tsauni area of Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory carrying out an advanced exploration and mining project for Gold, Silver and Lead.

“An Aurelian company came into Nigeria in 2021, brought some investment in and others are about starting operation while another company who has also made imprints in Nigeria is acquiring equities right now. So many other companies like that have come into Nigeria, some are at the explorative stages while some have even gone beyond that,” he further explained.

The Minister ascribed earlier hesitation of foreign interest in the sector to the notion that Nigeria was being seen as an oil and gas country. This perception, was however changed with accelerated investment in exploration through the National Integrated Mining Exploration Project (NIMEP) and its generated data.

He therefore, called on more foreign mining companies to invest in Nigeria and take advantage of the abundant mineral resources not just gold but also other minerals spread all over different parts of the country such as Lithium, Coal, Nickel and Cobalts, among others.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Segilola Resources Operating Limited, Segun Lawson commended the support and motivation received from Federal Government which he believes is responsible for the success so far recorded.

Lawson said the company is not only running commercial operation as they have made a lot of social impact to the communities around them. He reiterated that his company has fulfilled all the promises made in the CDA signed with the host communities and have gone ahead into CSR which includes, building of markets, schools, construction of bridges, provision of scholarships, portable water, among others.

He highlighted the challenges faced by the company to include the issue of illegal mining in his domain as he appealed for the continuous support of the Ministry and other government agencies to overcome such challenges, adding that plan is underway to expand exploration and production of gold to other States and diversify away from gold production.

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